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ill never fade from the memory of those who heard it. About three weeks later, the first national convention of the Republican party met at Philadelphia, and nominated John C. Fremont of California for President. There was a certain fitness in this selection, from the fact that he had been elected to the United States Senate when California applied for admission as a free State, and that the resistance of the South to her admission had been the entering wedge of the slavery agitation of 1850. This, however, was in reality a minor consideration. It was rather his romantic fame as a daring Rocky Mountain explorer, appealing strongly to popular imagination and sympathy, which gave him prestige as a presidential candidate. It was at this point that the career of Abraham Lincoln had a narrow and fortunate escape from a premature and fatal prominence. The Illinois Bloomington convention had sent him as a delegate to the Philadelphia convention; and, no doubt very unexpectedly to
even joint debates, both Lincoln and Douglas made speeches at separate meetings of their own during almost every day of the three months campaign, and sometimes two or three speeches a day. At the election which was held on November 2, 1858, a legislature was chosen containing fifty-four Democrats and forty-six Republicans, notwithstanding the fact that the Republicans had a plurality of thirty-eight hundred and twenty-one on the popular vote. But the apportionment was based on the census of 1850, and did not reflect recent changes in political sentiment, which, if fairly represented, would have given them an increased strength of from six to ten members in the legislature. Another circumstance had great influence in causing Lincoln's defeat. Douglas's opposition to the Lecompton Constitution in Congress had won him great sympathy among a few Republican leaders in the Eastern States. It was even whispered that Seward wished Douglas to succeed as a strong rebuke to the Buchanan admi
It was taken, however, in good-humor by the Senator, and never mentioned without a laugh by either side, though while writing his reply, my husband was in no pacific mood. It bore the relation to us then that a telegram at dawn of day about a trifle does now. A propos of telegrams, I find in an old letter at this time this announcement: We went down to-day to see Mr. Morse's machine make the wires talk, and repeat messages from one town to another. There are small wires stretched from Baltimore to this place, and they are brought into the windows of a house on the Avenue. Inside of a little stall a man sits and sends messages and receives the answers. I think it is a trick, but paid my two-bits (twenty-five cents) to get a message that it was a fine day. From another letter of 1850 I cull this sentence: There is a machine in town, I hear, that stitches like the hand-work. That was the description of the now universal and indispensable sewing-machine.
Chapter 31: thirty-first Congress, 1849-50. The first session of the Thirty-first Congress opened on Monday, December 3, 1849. In no preceding Senate had been seen more brilliant groups of stat passed he thus wrote of this Congress: The first session of the Thirty — first Congress (1849-50) was a memorable one. The recent acquisition from Mexico of New Mexico and California, required lthis counsellor emanated the bills which, taken together, are known as the Compromise Measures of 1850. With some others, I advocated the division of the newly acquired territory by the extension he calm consideration we can usually give to the irremediable past, the Compromise Legislation of 1850 bears the impress of that sectional spirit so widely at variance with the general purposes of thords an interesting incident of his own life at this time: While the Compromise Measures of 1850 were pending, and the excitement concerning them was at its highest, I, one day, overtook Mr. Cla
ated him on this subject: Mr. Clay is credited with the paternity of the so-called Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1850, when I was contending for the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed of Mr. Clay thaessional Globe. The strong men of each party were arrayed in sectional divisions, when Mr. Davis entered the Senate in 1850. The Wilmot Proviso which had been introduced into the House, provided that none of the New Territory incorporated intars. Copy of letter from Mr. Davis to James Alfred Pearce, M. D., in which he refers to his position in the session of 1850: P. O., Palmyra, Miss., August 22, 1852. My Dear Sir: Among the most pleasing reminiscences of my connection with the you often, and be kindly remembered by you. If I know myself, you do me justice in supposing my efforts in the session of 1850 were directed to the maintenance of our constitutional rights as members of the Union, and that I did not sympathize with
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 1, Chapter 43: thirty-sixth Congress — Squatter sovereignty, 1859-61. (search)
extent to which the suggestions would be carried and the consequences that would result from it. Of Mr. Douglas and his claim to the doctrine of squatter sovereignty, Mr. Davis says: In the organization of a government for California, in 1850, the theory was more distinctly advanced, but it was not until after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, in 1854, that it was fully developed, under the plastic and constructive genius of the Honorable Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois. The lescribe at the time of their admission. 7. Resolved, That the provision of the Constitution for the rendition of fugitives from service or labor, without the adoption of which the Union could not have been formed, and that the laws of 1793 and 1850, which were enacted to secure its execution, and the main features of which, being similar, bear the impress of nearly seventy years of sanction by the highest judicial authority, should be honestly and faithfully observed and maintained by all wh
e new territory except Missouri north of thirty-six degrees and thirty seconds. The compromise of 1850 gave up the northern part of Texas, and the North took, by vote of a majority, all the territoriesix degrees and thirty minutes to the Pacific Ocean, with all its political significance, was, in 1850, a denial of the obligation to recognize the existence of a compact between the North and South fories, and others, that the political line of 36°, 30‘ had been obliterated by the legislation of 1850, and that the bill introduced by him declared it to be the true intent and meaning of said bill nd by the refusal to recognize its binding force in the division of recently acquired territory in 1850. To this extent, and this only, was it an Administration measure, and the committee left the Pr in the view you take of that subject. If the repeal of the Missouri Compromise line occurred in 1850, then the unprecedented change which you notice as resulting in the legislation of 1854, must be
Abbeville, in South-Carolina, about the same time; and of course was followed by all lesser lights among his adherents. Then commenced that violent agitation of the Slavery question which had nearly culminated upon the admission of California in 1850. Again, by the efforts of those immortal statesmen of the last age, Messrs. Webster, Clay, and others, was the matter compromised. The whole country at first appeared to be satisfied with the settlement, but it soon appeared that there were a nun this he failed, and therefore did not support the nominee of the Convention, Mr. Pierce. He could not, however at that time, succeed in creating a great schism in the Democratic party, so great had been the calm which the compromise measures of 1850 had produced. In 1856 he again went as a delegate from the State of Alabama to the Cincinnati Convention, with his old ultimatum in his pocket. Contrary to his wishes and expectations, it was incorporated into the Cincinnati platform, and being
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 2: preliminary rebellious movements. (search)
e in whom resided, in a remarkable degree, the political power of the States-numbered about 1,000,000. Of these, the large land and slave holders, whose influence in the body of the million named was almost supreme, numbered less than 200,000. In 1850, says Edward Atkinson, in the Continental Monthly for March, 1862, page 252, there were in all the Southern States less than 170,000 men owning more than five slaves each, and they owned 2,800,000 out of 3,300,000. The production of the great stais meeting was followed by similar cabals in the other cotton-growing States; and, in Virginia, that ever-restless mischief-maker, ex-governor Henry A. Wise, with R. M. T. Hunter, John Tyler, James M. Mason, the author of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, who had been his co-plotter against the life of the Republic four years before, In response to an invitation from Wise, a convention of Governors of Slave-labor States was secretly held at Raleigh, North Carolina, of which Jefferson Davis, the
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 3: assembling of Congress.--the President's Message. (search)
them is essential to a proper understanding of the early history of the rebellion. In the year 1850, an act was passed by the National Congress, under the provisions of the third clause, second secdo any official act in furtherance of the execution of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, or that of 1850. It forbade the use of any prisons in the State for the same purpose. All public officers were rty Acts, all of them as much in opposition to the letter and spirit of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 as any act passed by the Legislatures of Free-labor States. Some of them had penalties more sever constitutionality, and doubted it on the floor of the Senate, when I was a member of that body. 1850-1851. The States, acting in their sovereign capacity, Lawrence M Keitt. should be responsible right of the Slave-owner to every privilege and advantage given him in the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850; and a declaration that all the State laws impairing or defeating that law were violations of the
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